For DLA, ESA and other entitlements administered by the department for Work and pensions (DWP), an extra process has been introduced from 28th October 2013. This has not been widely publicised and has been taking some families by surprise.
It applies to decisions dated 28th October or later, not to those that had already been made before that date. Now anyone wishing to appeal to Tribunal, for example after a refusal of DLA or an award that may be too low, must take it back to the DWP for Mandatory Reconsideration first. The intention is that at least some appeals could be settled at this more straightforward stage, rather than having to go through the process of Tribunal.
In the case of ESA, the rules have also changed so that for some claimants, ESA will not be paid until later in the appeal process than has occurred up till now.
The decision letter from the DWP, about what has or has not been awarded, should have in it, or with it, information about how to appeal, which has to be done within a month of the date of their decision. If the claimant then does appeal for Mandatory Reconsideration, a different decision-maker will look at it, who may telephone for more information. If after this reconsideration, a reconsideration letter is received and the claimant still wants to go to tribunal, the tribunal will need a copy of the reconsideration letter, in order to go ahead.
For more details click here (links at the bottom of the page for how to appeal). People who have appealed for universal Credit or PIP since April this year may already be familiar with the new system.